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Junior Journalist Update from Keller – by Josh H.

Tropophobia, the fear of change. As a group of eighth graders, we all have developed it to some extent. We are all likely feeling some anxiety right now. The transition from junior high to high school is a past riddled with anxiety; however, it is a well-worn path and I found some people who’ve walked it before and are willing to share their wisdom. I have interviewed some 8th graders about their fears, as well as my sister who is a junior at Schaumburg High School, and my father who teaches social studies at Naperville Central High School.

During my interview with Anaya P., I asked her about some of the social problems she was apprehensive about, such things as making and losing friends, as well as going to school with people much older than us. To get better knowledge of these problems, I went to my sister. She told me that “the people who are meant to be your friends for the long run will stay your friends; you will figure out a way to make it work.” She also told me that you may switch friend groups and that you will make new friends. Some of these friends may even be the seniors we all fear. She said that “(seniors) became some of the people I was closest to.”

Outside of this, there is more to school than just socializing. There’s also the problem of academics when it comes to graduating to a new school. How does grading work? What will our work loads look like? What are the teachers’ expectations? Eighth grade student Brandon S. showed interest in this during his interview, worrying about how grades and homework would, well…work and what expectations teachers will have. For this I went to my dad, a high school teacher who would have the best insight. He told me that “there are tons of resources available in most schools for keeping your grades up, especially for freshmen…and I know Schaumburg has this. Every department will have some method of remediation.” If you are falling behind on your grades, you can always reach out for help. And a good way to not fall prey to a cycle like this in the first place is to have a homework routine when you get home and to make sure you don’t “get behind (on your homework).” We have heard time and time again from students what the requirements are, but now you have heard a teacher’s perspective.

Those are the two main things people worry about the most. Yet there is one more, something people don’t like to talk about. Most of us are too afraid to admit that it scares us, but classmate Samuel M. stood up and addressed the problem. He is very concerned about the fowl conditions hatching around the high schools. Like all of us, he is afraid of the ducks. Although it seems as if our fears have been taken out of the wrong pond, my sister, who has been in the district for three years, told me that The Ducks have never been a problem, except that “Shirley can be a little iffy on Wednesdays.” My dad also told me that “ducks have never been a problem, however, geese will sometimes cause issues.”

Of course it’s scary, it’s new. However, it is a well-established path with lots of experienced people to guide us along the way. So here are my ninth grade tips: don’t be afraid to make new friends, as upperclassman may become your friends (little hint –upperclassmen will only bother you if you bother them), get your work done, reach out for academic help if you need it, and don’t be afraid of ducks. That’s it, now you are ready for high school. Have a quacking good summer!